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is Cruise (general Motors) Right to Put Brakes on the project?

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Only two days had passed since the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked its license, claiming that the vehicles posed” an unreasonable risk to public safety,” when it was decided to periodically halt operations in Dallas.

One of the robotaxis that Cruise, the driverless-car company supported by General Motors, has been testing in Dallas is known by the name Guacamole. Due to major safety concerns about its vehicles, Cruise on Thursday night made the wise decision to temporarily halt operations andnbsp both here and across the nation.

For the company, the dominoes have been falling fast. Its decision was made only two days after the California Department of Motor Vehicles&nbsp revoked its license, claiming that the vehicles posed” an unreasonable risk to public safety,” and it was posted on the social media platform X.

That action was taken the day after the National Traffic Safety Administration announced that it was looking into allegations that Cruise cars—which the company names individually—were approaching pedestrians on sidewalks and roads very closely. A San Francisco pedestrian who had been struck by another vehicle was run over earlier this month by a Cruise car called Panini. The woman was pinned under the car and dragged 20 feet before it started to move repeatedly.

Cruise stated on X that” taking action to rebuild public trust is the most important thing for us straight now.” ” In light of this, we have made the decision to proactively halt driverless operations across all of our fleets while we examine our procedures, systems, and tools and consider how we can operate more effectively and with the public’s trust.”

Cruise had completed the last round of car testing in Dallas. It started conducting controlled driving tests and mapping in Lower Greenville, Deep Ellum, Uptown, and Oak Lawn in June. On October 10, a representative informed the public safety committee of the Dallas City Council that the company was starting to test its cars without drivers and roll out service to the general public by the year’s end.

We praised the regulatory environment, Texas , and regulatory environments that welcomed Cruise and several other intelligent vehicle companies into our state last month. The business had already started operating in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. However, we also warned that as robotaxis and another driverless vehicles became more common, regular regulatory reviews would be required.

It appears that the moment has arrived. According to Stacey Chamberlin, his chief of staff, State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, who sponsored the 2017 law establishing the ground rules for autonomous vehicles in Texas, “has been watching this issue tightly and meeting about it.”

According to state law, cities essentially have no control over how these vehicles operate within their borders, which is hazardous, according to Cara Mendelsohn, chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Mendelsohn stated,” I’m hardly at all opposed to intelligent vehicles.” ” I’m just worried that there are n’t any guardrails on this.”

When Guacamole or any of the other Dallas robotaxis will return to the city’s streets is unknown. However, we hope that when they do, lawmakers and other government representatives will keep a close eye on the situation to see if more control of this intriguing innovative technology is necessary.

Viktor Musil

Victor Musil, pen name for Edouard Py, advocates for inclusive, people-centered city development. His work underscores the importance of ethical considerations and equitable access, shaping the discourse on urban innovation worldwide.

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